Anastasia Lukomskaya:
Artistic Defiance in a Conformist World


I send my applications to many open calls, and the most of them get rejected. I know it’s alright, but still I can never get used to it.

I’m lucky to be a Russian anti-war artist, because we are a double cancelled category. In our home country the galleries don’t want to risk exhibiting us, thereare black lists and censorship. In the rest of the world giving us a voice can be misunderstood as a support of Russian aggression. Every time I question myself: is that because of my passport or the artwork is bad? In fact, you will never know the true reason of rejection.

Art is a way of communication. It only exists in the perception of the viewer. Art is meant to be accepted. Every rejection breaks the heart. Never, I said, never try to read between the lines.

‘Dear Noname,
thank you for taking the time to enter our open call (of course you are not selected). It was a pleasure to have an opportunity to view your work (why did I ever waste my time). We are sorry to announce that the selection jury did not select your (dumb) project this time. We received many applications (and yours was the worst) and it was not easy to make a selection. This decision shouldn’t be seen as a negative assessment of the work (give up trying to become an artist and find a job). We are looking forward to (never) hearing from you.
Your curators’.

Come on, it’s just a formal e-mail they send to everyone. Cmd + C, Cmd + V, paste another title, paste another name, by the way, this text was generated by ChatGPT, nothing personal. Find a better use for your luxuriant imagination, make another artwork.
Actually open calls are a kind of gold mining. The rejection letters are grains of sand. You have to wash out a lot of sand to find a piece of gold. A perfect match. An exhibition you’ll be chosen for. And it’s always worth it.

– Anastasia Lukomskaya

Anastasia Lukomskaya, a Moscow-born visual artist and poet now residing in Germany, brings a unique voice to the Salon de Refusées. Her work delves into the depths of human consciousness, fear, freedom, and the oppressiveness of totalitarian regimes. Anastasia doesn’t shy away from sensitive topics, intertwining her artistic endeavors with her civic stance.

Her multi-faceted artistic expression spans conceptual photography, video art, performance, painting, actionism, and poetic text. Each medium serves as a conduit for her exploration of nonconformity, individualism, and the human psyche. Her latest work, “I Cannot Resist,” a video piece, epitomizes her commitment to challenging norms and seeking truth.

In “I Cannot Resist,” Anastasia confronts the themes of violence, compulsion, lies, and the loss of individuality—subjects she finds intolerable in our world. Through her art, she peers into the human soul, unraveling cognitive distortions and metaphorical chthonic creatures. Her work is a journey through a dark labyrinth, a quest for liberation from the confines of oppressive mental and social constructs.

Anastasia’s submission to the Salon de Refusées is not just an artwork; it’s a testament to her relentless pursuit of understanding and her refusal to accept the unacceptable. Her voice resonates with those who seek to navigate the complex maze of human existence, offering a beacon of hope and a path towards enlightenment in a world often clouded by conformity and coercion.

As we showcase her work at the Salon de Refusées, we invite viewers to engage with Anastasia’s profound narrative. Her art does more than just depict; it provokes thought, stirs emotions, and ignites conversations about the essence of freedom and the nature of fear. Join us in celebrating Anastasia Lukomskaya’s compelling artistic journey—an embodiment of resistance and introspection in the face of a challenging world.


The "Salon de Refusées" is an art initiative inspired by the historic 1863 Paris exhibition. It's a platform celebrating female (read) artists who've faced rejection, turning exclusion into empowerment. Our project is dedicated to showcasing art in its most authentic form, creating a space where diverse voices and stories are seen and revered. Join us in this artistic uprising, where each piece adds to our resilience and the unyielding spirit of creativity.